Owing to the ongoing Ramazan festivities coinciding with the struggles prompted by the pandemic, Coke Studio released it is message of hope in the form Atif Aslam's recitation of Asma-ul-Husna on May 14, 2020.
The three and a half minute track relaying the 99 attributes of Allah is produced by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan alias Xulfi, while the video is directed by Asim Raza, stated a press release.
Inscribed into the cultural memory of Pakistan, the Asma-Ul-Husna has many renditions, Coke Studio's version, however, manifests a multi-layered soundscape.
Beginning with the sound of a black hole collision, followed by the echoes of "Allah" from the iconic Azaan of Makkah, the recitation borrows 24 voices from across the country to build an acapella. Melvin Arthur, a virtuoso musician from Quetta Pakistan, has worked on crafting the choir arrangement using vocals from around the world.
The track also demonstrates a unique arrangement of duffs as their grand ensemble reverberates in a large space. The whole composition finally comes together seamlessly in the voice of Aslam, reciting the powerful verses.
The release comes at an unprecedented time of crisis and fear, anxiety and uncertainty while also keeping in mind the struggles of the frontline workers. It is an ode to the unwavering human spirit, an expression of spiritual healing, nourishment and a reassurance of better times ahead.
The recitation ends poignantly with "Al-Saboor," which relays God's quality of being the most patient, conveying a message of maintaining calm in these testing times.
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